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‘Those Other’ Women’s History Month: Joni Ernst, First Female Combat Vet to Serve in the Senate

A mom, a hard-working farmer’s daughter, a Senator, and a combat veteran, Joni Ernst has done so much in her life already, and she continues to make strides and stand up for conservative values! Let’s talk more about this strong, self-made woman who is still serving Iowa and celebrate her accomplishments this Women’s History Month!


After reading this article by Kay C. James that expresses the lack of conservative women in Women’s History Month, I was inspired to create my own list! And of course, ever inspired by Mallory and listening to the ‘Those Other Girls’ Podcast, the name ‘Those Other Women’s History Month’ came to me! Excited to partner with TOG on this awesome profile series on inspirational conservative women!


Senator Joni Ernst


"You just need the freedom to dream big and a whole lot of hard work." -Joni Ernst


Joni Ernst was the first female combat veteran in the Senate, and the first female representing Iowa in Congress. Even as an east coaster who’s never been to Iowa, I’ve heard her name before! When I started doing some more research, and Google was pulling titles like “first female combat vet in the Senate”, I was super excited to learn more!


Ernst grew up on a farm in southwestern Iowa, and she eventually graduated with a BA in Psychology from Iowa State University. While there, she joined the ROTC program, and after graduating, she joined the U.S. Army Reserves.


During her time in the military, she served as a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq during the Iraq War, finally becoming a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. She also worked as an auditor and had a daughter with her husband, Gail, before being elected to the Iowa Senate. From there, she was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014 as the first congresswoman from Iowa and first female combat vet Senator, and she still serves there.


Ernst is such a strong example of living out true conservative values. For one thing, she is a heavy supporter of state’s rights, she is pro-life, and pushes for serious budget reform. As a working mom and a combat vet, Joni Ernst exemplifies a strong, independent, and unwearying legislator and an inspiration for young conservative women everywhere!


"My parents taught us to live within our means. It’s time to force Washington to do the same." -Joni Ernst